Kathmandu: Nepal and the United States will jointly conduct military exercises later this month which will also involve several other countries including India.
The army exercises, named Shanti Prayas-2 or Peace Initiatives, will be conducted in Panchkhal, situated 50 km east of Kathmandu from March 25 to April 7.
According to a US Embassy press release, the Nepal Army, the US Army and several other countries have announced their participation in the drill which is the latest in a continuing series of exercises in the Asia-Pacific region designed to promote regional peace and security and enhance the peacekeeping capabilities and capacity of nations participating in the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI).
GPOI is a G8 nations` initiative to increase peace support operations capabilities worldwide.
"Being a major troop contributing country, Nepal and the Nepalese Army have extensive knowledge and experience in peace support operations. Hosting this type of exercise in Nepal will not only enhance Nepalese peacekeeping capabilities but will also help other participating nations," the release said.
The training conducted during the exercise will consist of a vignette based staff training exercise and a field training exercise.
The staff training exercise will combine Nepal Army officers and officers invited from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Paraguay, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand and Vietnam who will refine staff skills required by military officers who operate in UN peacekeeping missions around the world.
Field training will be conducted by militaries from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Paraguay, and Rwanda.
The training will be facilitated by an international cadre of instructors with extensive peacekeeping and peacekeeping-training experience and personnel from the US Pacific Command.
These forces will enhance basic skills used when conducting peacekeeping operations, such as patrolling, checkpoint operations, and convoy operations.